Gay marriage opponents closer to qualifying R-74



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Opponents of gay marriage say they have reached the number of signatures needed to qualify a proposed referendum seeking to overturn a law legalizing gay marriage in Washington state.

They say they could turn them in to the state as early as next Tuesday, ahead of a June 6 deadline.

Joseph Backholm, with Preserve Marriage Washington, said that the campaign for Referendum 74 has at least 150,000 signatures on hand. Backers of R-74 need to turn in 120,577 valid voter signatures by next Thursday in order to qualify for the ballot. The secretary of state’s office recommends that campaigns submit about 150,000 signatures in order to provide a cushion for invalid or duplicate signatures.

Backholm says that they hope to hit 200,000 signatures, and that they want to turn the signatures in ahead of the deadline, possibly as early as Tuesday.